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Racist Polarisation in SA – Four Types of Racists

I want to comment on the recent social media storm generated by a certain Penny Sparrow (who called black people monkeys) and the retaliatory racist comments by journalist Zama Khumalo and a certain Velaphi Khumalo (who said blacks should do to whites what Hitler did to the Jews).

If we don’t break our denial as to our deep racial conditioning and prejudice in this country, we will never address, heal, or be free from the racism in our hearts and minds, in our nation.  We must face what is within us in order to renew our minds and attitudes in the truth of the equality and dignity of every person created as God’s image on earth, no matter what race. Otherwise, given the right situation or incident, our buttons will be pressed and our unresolved racist conditioning will overflow in words and actions. If you were born in SA, no matter if you are white, black, coloured or Indian, you are subconsciously racially conditioned. You need to consciously face it and turn from it daily. If we don’t proactively do this, actually doing reconciliation, we will continually be reactively dealing with racist outbursts – from within us and around us – as mirrored in the white Sparrows and the black Khumalos, who both verbalised what many in both constituencies secretly think.

I worked for justice and reconciliation in SA under apartheid in Soweto from 1984-1996, and wrote a book about that life changing journey. Published in 2004, I speak of  four kinds of racists in post apartheid SA… Which one are you?

What follows is from pp.124-125 in Doing Reconciliation – Racism, Reconciliation and Transformation in Church and World. Continue reading Racist Polarisation in SA – Four Types of Racists